Saturday, September 26, 2009


Doctor Sentenced In Floyd County Drug Ring

Fifty-five year old Randy Weiss, a former Philadelphia doctor, has been sentenced for his role in a drug ring that imported tens of thousands of pain pills into eastern Kentucky. Timothy Wayne Hall of Floyd County has pleaded guilty to being the leader of the ring in which people from Floyd County went to doctors, including Weiss, and brought 200,000 pills back to the area over a period of several years. Weiss pleaded guilty to improperly writing prescriptions for 11,000 methadone pills to Hall and others who paid $500 for an office visit. He was sentenced to 48 months in prison, followed by a year of home confinement, 3 years supervised release and paid $50,000 for his role.


Ky. Gets Warrant System Grant

Through the American Resource and Recovery Act, the office of Attorney General Jack Conway has received a $3.94 million grant to be used to expand Kentucky's electronic warrant management system. Presently, only six counties have access to the system, but, with the help of the grant, the system will be accessible to nearly all of the state's rural counties. The system helps share information on active warrants between all law enforcement agencies in the state and helps speed up the process of having warrants served while cutting down on the number of those unserved.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Accused Murderer Remains Jailed Without Bond

People throughout and around the Mingo County area are still in shock and disbelief over the tragic death of Michelle Stroud. But, they were really left reeling when her estranged husband, Roger Stroud, pleaded not guilty to murder and concealment of a deceased body at his arraignment Thursday after he allegedly admitted to deputies that he had shot and killed her and then disposed of her body. His preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday, September 29th. as he remains in jail without bond.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Stumbo Pre-Files Amanda Bill

During a press conference at the state Capitol Thursday (today) House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced he had pre-filed a bill that would allow judges to order electronic monitoring devices, such as ankle bracelets, which would help law enforcement officials keep track of the most dangerous domestic violence offenders. Stumbo says, if the "Amanda Bill" passes, it would give victims a "fighting chance." If the bill becomes law, a risk assessment would be conducted by a judge or a court staff to determine who would wear a GPS bracelet. As of Thursday (today), about a dozen House members had co-signed the bill.


Census Worker Died From Asphyxiation

Preliminary autopsy results show asphyxiation caused the death of U.S. Census worker, 51 year old William Sparkman, whose body was found September 12th. at the Hoskins Cemetery in the Daniel Boone National Forest in southern Clay County, one day after his death on September 11th. Although he was found with a rope around his neck and attached to a tree, his body was in contact with the ground. It has been concluded Sparkman did not die as a result of natural causes, but FBI and KSP have not yet ruled whether the death resulted from homicide, accident or suicide.


Charges Pending For Harlan County Man

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says federal charges are pending for 55 year old Bobby G. Williams of the Jones Creek community of Harlan County. Following an anonymous tip, authorities discovered marijuana plants, a working moonshine still and explosives while executing a search warrant at his residence.


W. Va. Offers Domestic Violence Help

Michelle Stroud once worked in the Mingo County Sheriff's office filing domestic violence petitions, but this week her life took a morbid turn when she allegedly became the murder victim of someone accused of once violating a protective order. Now, Mingo County Sheriff Lonnie Hannah says this week's tragedy involving Stroud has left him determined to more deeply focus on the issue of domestic violence, while beefing up the laws and getting orders out in a timely manner. Hannah says, so far this year, Mingo County alone has had 294 domestic violence petitions. He says his goal is to work closely with the West Virginia Sheriff's Association in an effort to curb domestic violence.

The Charleston YWCA has outreach awareness centers in Boone and Clay counties, with the Clay County one inside the courthouse and the one in Boone County next to the courthouse. The centers help victims file protective orders and prepare to leave the situation.


Mingo County Accused Murderer Has History Of Domestic Violence

According to Mingo County authorities, Michelle Stroud, whose body was found stuffed inside a refrigerator in Mingo County Tuesday afternoon, had filed an emergency protective order against her husband, Roger Stroud, in late April. The charges were dismissed when neither party showed up for a hearing in family court. Between January and March 2007, four separate violence assault and battery charges were filed against Roger Stroud by his previous wife, but all four were dismissed. Also, a charge was brought against him for violating a protective order for the same ex-wife, but it was also dismissed.


Former State Representative To Waive Preliminary

On Wednesday, Astrida Lemkins, attorney for former state Representative 56 year old Steve Nunn, and the Fayette County Attorney's office entered an agreement to waive Nunn's preliminary hearing, sending his murder case to the grand jury. Nunn is charged with murder and violating a protective order in the September 11th. shooting death of his former fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in the Fayette County Detention Center without bond.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


KSP Locates Pike County Woman

Geraldine Watson, 45, of Raccoon, Kentuckyy, reported missing in an earlier press release has been located unharmed. KSP dispatchers received a telephone call shortly after the release information aired on local news stations.


FBI Assists KSP In Investigation Of Hanging Death

The FBI has joined Kentucky State Police in an investigation related to the hanging death of 51 year old Bill Sparkman, a U.S. Census worker and part-time teacher whose body was found September 12th. in the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeast Kentucky (Clay County). A law enforcement official says the word "fed" was written on his chest, but authorities have not yet determined if his death is the result of foul play, or if it was related to his census work.


London Woman Allegedly Rear-Ends School Bus

Forty year old Lisa Johnson of London has been arrested and charged with second-degree wanton endangerment, driving under the influence of drugs and possession of meth. She's accused of rear-ending a Laurel County school bus carrying 53 North Laurel High School students while traveling at the intersection of the Hal Rogers Parkway and KY 30 Tuesday morning.


Gillispie Considering DUI Plea Deal

An attorney for former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie says Gillispie is considering a "reasonable offer" for a plea bargain following his arrest and DUI charge on August 27th. A pretrial hearing is set for October 5th. An informal pretrial conference was held Wednesday (today) in Anderson County Circuit Court.


Estranged Husband Charged In Mingo County Murder

Police are continuing to investigate the death of (Vadie) Michelle Stroud whose body was found Tuesday afternoon stuffed inside a refrigerator in a wooded area near Newsome Ridge, between Kermit and Dingess. Early Wednesday morning (today) police arrested her estranged husband, 39 year old Roger Stroud, and charged him with first-degree murder and concealment of a body. Stroud told investigators he drove his estranged wife to a remote location at Kermit Coal on Monday, where they engaged in an argument. He says he then returned to his truck, put on a pair of jersey gloves, retrieved a .357 revolver and shot her several times before placing her body inside the refrigerator in the back of his truck and then dumping it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Mingo County Woman Found Dead

The body of 30 year old Michelle Stroud of Kermit was found dead Tuesday (today) inside an abandoned refrigerator in a wooded area off Route 53 in the Newsome Ridge area of Mingo County near Kermit. Stroud waslast seen alive around 8:30 A.M. Monday when she dropped her son off at school, and her car was found on Route 52 in East Kermit, about five miles fromher home.


Police Seize Drugs, Money And Stolen Vehicles

In relation to an ongoing four month investigation, law enforcement recently arrested Darrel Swiney of Wolf Branch Road at Shelby Gap of Pike County on traffic related charges. During a later execution of a search warrant at his residence, authorities discovered more than 600 OxyContin (80 mg. tablets), 164 Hydrocodone tablets, guns, $6,550 in cash and a stolen dirt bike along with three stolen ATVs.


Stumbo To File Monitoring Bill

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says, by Thursday, he will likely pre-file a bill that will allow judges to order an electronic monitoring device, such as an ankle bracelet, for those who have a domestic violence protective order against them. The device would allow law enforcement to track the location of an offender, while the endangered could wear a device that would alert them if the perpetrartor was nearby. Diana Ross, the mother of Amanda Ross, will join Stumbo in a news conference Thursday to tout the bill.


Letcher County RAM Gearing-Up

RAM (Remote Area Medical) officials and over 200 volunteers are gearing-up for this weekend's event in which they will provide as many medical services as possible while setting up Saturday and Sunday in Letcher County. Registration for the RAM clinic begins at 8:30 P.M. Friday night night at the Gateway Industrial Park in Jenkins. Meals will be donated for patients.


Paintsville Drug Task Force Planned

Johnson, Lawrence and Martin County Commonwealth's Attorney Anna Melvin and Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter applied for a $220,000 federal Rural Law Enforcement grant to start a new Drug Task Force in Paintsville. The grant will pay for equipment, an officer to focus on illegal prescription drugs and meth and a special prosecuting attorney who will handle the cases. The officer is not yet hired, but will be based out of the Paintsville Department, while working in Johnson, Martin and Lawrence counties.


FDA Bans Candy And Fruit-Flavored Cigarettes

Marking one of the first visible signs of the Food and Drug Administration's attempt to regulate the use of tobacco, a new federal ban on flavored cigarettes went into effect Tuesday (today). Health and federal authorities hope the ban on the manfacturing, importing, marketing and distribution which includes candy, fruit and clove-flavored cigarettes makes smoking less appealing to the youth.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Three Vehicle Accident Kills Pike County Woman

A three-car collision on U.S. 119 Sunday in the community of Belfry has resulted in the death of 21 year old Jonna Hatfield of Hardy. Kentucky State Police say she was traveling northbound when she lost control of her vehicle, entering the southbound lanes, and was struck in the driver's side door by a vehicle driven by Bruce Tilley. Her vehicle was knocked back into the northbound lanes, went off the shoulder of the southbound side and struck a pickup driven by James Allen Rose who was traveling northbound on the southbound shoulder of the road. Hatfield and Tilley were transported to South Williamson Applachian Regional Hospital where Hatfield was pronounced dead.


Hazard KSP Investigating Armed Robbery

Hazard Kentucky State Police report, just before 4:00 P.M. Saturday, a male suspect described as being 6 foot tall, weighing 200 to 225 lbs., between his late 40s to mid-50s in age, gray hair, partial beard and tattoo on the left side of his neck, entered the Double-Kwik Marathon in the Dry Fork community of Letcher County and robbed two female employees at knifepoint. An investigation is ongoing.


Interstate 64 Westbound Lanes Sink

The two Interstate-64 westbound lanes just west of the Catlettsburg exit 191 were closed around 3:30 A.M. Monday (today) after an embankment failure caused them to sink about a foot. Allen Blair, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9 spokesman, says, weather permitting, vehicles could soon have access to crossover lanes.


McConnell Speaks On Health Care

As part of the school's Constitution Week celebration, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell spoke Monday (today) at Western Kentucky University. When asked about the national debt, McConnell responded by saying the president should consider canceling future stimulus funding. He says he hopes Obama will "stay the course" in Afghanistan. But, on health care, he says Congress is moving too quickly and should "stop and start over."

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Bond Denied For Former State Representative

Bond was denied Friday for former State Representative Steve Nunn after defense attorney Astrida Lemkins entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to charges of murdering his ex-fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross, and violating a protective order she had taken out against him. Nunn is being held in the medical mental health unit of the Fayette County Detention Center. Ironically, if Nunn is convicted, he could face the death penalty after being one of twenty-five co-sponsors of a bill which became law in 1998, which, among other things, made it a death penalty offense for a person named in a domestic violence order to murder the protected individual.


Shopper Injured In WalMart Parking Lot

Around 5:00 P.M. Friday afternoon, 35 year old Kelly Smith was hit by a car while walking through a WalMart parking lot in South Williamson. She was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center with a broken neck and pelvis, an injured left shoulder and bruised from head to toe. While doctors say they don't believe she will need surgery, they say she will remain in a neck brace for twelve weeks. Kentucky State Police charged 18 year old Bradley Smith with DUI and second-degree assault.


Ethics Commission Settles With Former Transportation Members

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has approved settlements with former Transportation Cabinet members James Adams and Dan Druen. In 2006, the Commission had filed charges against them, saying they violated personnel laws and the public interest while seeking to hire those who supported former Governor Ernie Fletcher. Adams has paid his fine of $1,000, and Druen was given ten days to pay $2,500.


Patton To Remain Chairman Of Post Secondary Education

Friday, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission voted 3-0 to allow former Governor Paul Patton to serve as Pikeville College President while remaining Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Chairman. John Steffen, Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, had advised that, in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, it would be best if Patton not serve in both positions, noting that, as chairman, he had the ability to appoint committees and had control over closed-door sessions. However, Robert King, President of the Council, says the chair is not powerful under the current makeup of the commission, and decisions such as which universities and colleges can teach certain programs are made by him, not the board.


Kentucky Considering Tougher Domestic Violence Laws

Kentucky lawmakers are proposing tougher domestic violence laws. They say statistics show one in every four women is a victim of domestic violence. Now, lawmakers want to pass new laws requiring those under domestic violence orders to wear an ankle bracelet monitor that would track their location and alert authorities when an order is violated.

Representatives Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian are drafting a proposal which appears to be headed for debate in Kentucky's 2010 legislative session of the General Assembly. The proposal would prohibit domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms, but Jenkins says a similar proposal about eight years ago failed to build up momentum in the legislature.


Texting Under Fire In Kentucky

Under proposals awaiting legislative action when Kentucky lawmakers convene in January for the 2010 General Assembly, Kentucky motorists could be forbidden to send text messages while behind the wheel. A study released in July by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows, when drivers text, the collision risk is considerably higher. Lt. David Jude, spokesman for Kentucky State Police headquarters in Frankfort, says, "A majority of collisions in Kentucky are the result of driver inattention." Two lawmakers have filed bills to add Kentucky to the 18 states, so far, that have banned texting while driving.


Kentucky Flu Activity Becomes Widespread

According to the Department of Public Health, the flu activity level in Kentucky has increased from regional to widespread, which is very unusual in mid-September. Officials say the high level of activity so early in the flu season is mainly due to the H1N1 swine flu virus. Vaccines for the H1N1 virus should arrive in Kentucky in mid-October, while early supplies will be recommended for priority groups which include pregnant women, people who live or care for children younger than six months of age, direct care health care and emergency medical services personnel, people six months to twenty-four years old and people twenty-five to sixty-four with chronic health conditions.

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